TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY 21st July 2006 16.00 Hours
The exhibition was organized by the Polish-German Reconciliation Foundation. It was presented for the first time at the Royal Castle in Warsaw over half a year ago, then it was exhibited in a number Polish towns and cities. The purpose of the exhibition is reflected by the following declaration: “It is in the name of Polish victims of World War II from that we wanted to recall the memory of those who were transformed into nameless slaves to the Third Reich by Nazi Oppressors. Memory of slave and forced labourers’ harm cannot be forgotten. As a symbol of human barbarity, it must become a permanent element of historical consciousness of Polish people in uniting Europe”.
However, the exhibition not only recalls horrific past of the times of German Nazi expansion and World War II, but also shows efforts for Polish-German reconciliation. That is why the exhibition was divided into two parts: one devoted to the past and the other one devoted to the present. The first part is dedicated to the extermination of Polish people through work in concentration camps, ghettos and severe prisons, forced labour of adults and children in industry and farming on the territories occupied by the Reich, POW’s work. The latter deals with post-war Polish-German relations, and especially with activities of the Polish-German Reconciliation Foundation aimed at Poles wronged by Nazis in particular.
A great asset of the exposition are photographs. We can look in the eyes of specific persons in the photographs – victims of Nazism. Thus, the evil shows its specific dimension, we know whom it affected. The photographs are supplemented by documents, including German announcements and personal belongings of the persecuted. The documents, maps, photographs and audiovisual materials were donated by over 30 foreign and Polish institutions, archives and museums.